The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport’s exterior has been redesigned, but it is far less modern and more competitive than its peers. Although the Mitsubishi subcompact crossover offers driver assistance and some infotainment functions that give the impression of modernity, its old engines and aging platform lack refinement. The Outlander Sport’s driving experience is not enjoyable, and it is difficult to enjoy the Outlander Sport from a seated position. The worst part is that Mitsubishi charges over $24,000 for its stripped-down base model while the Mazda CX-30 or the Hyundai Kona start at $23,000. The 2021 Outlander Sport has a beautiful styling, all-wheel drive and a great powertrain warranty. Unless you are a big fan, there is little to love about it.
What’s new for 2021?
The 2021 Outlander Sport gets a few new features after a major facelift. All models now feature automatic high beams, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and lane departure warning. Base models now have LED fog lights, rain sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview and an auto-dimming rearview. The LE trim gets black 18-inch wheels, black door mirrors and grille, and a Limited Edition badge. The upholstery has been updated with red contrast stitching.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
The base Outlander Sport model is the best way to save money. The LE trim level offers some additional features to make the Mitsubishi feel more new than it is old. Most notable is the 8.0-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The upgrade also includes black exterior accents and a leather-wrapped steering column. For an additional $1550, all-wheel drive is available to customers.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
There are two powertrain options for the Outlander Sport. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 148 horsepower, is nearly unbearably slow. Although the 168-hp, 2.4-liter engine is faster, it is slower and has a lower fuel economy. This model is reserved for top-of-the line GT models. The engines are paired with an unrefined, continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The 2.4-liter Outlander Sport was tested and achieved a time of 8.0 seconds to reach 60 mph. This is faster than many top competitors. The Outlander Sport is not sporty but it will get you to your destination without any drama. It has some body roll around corners, but it doesn’t feel unstable or tippy. Average for its class, the Outlander Sport’s brake distances are good. It feels responsive and firm after a soft start when you press the brake pedal.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The Outlander Sport’s EPA ratings are lower than its modern counterparts, regardless of whether you go for the 2.0-liter four-cylinder base model or the optional 2.4 liter variant. The 2.0-liter engine is rated at 24 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway. In both categories, the all-wheel-drive version is 1 mpg lower. The 2.4-liter engine is capable of achieving 23 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. All-wheel drive can achieve 1 mpg more on the highway. Our 75-mph highway fuel economy route saw us run the all-wheel-drive Outlander Sport GT, earning 25 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
Although the Outlander Sport’s trims are marginally better, large amounts of black plastic and an uninspired dashboard design create a bargain-basement environment. There are no leather seats. Red stitching is available on certain trims to spice things up. The Mitsubishi’s poor cabin environment is unavoidable, no matter what price you pay. The Outlander Sport’s exterior footprint is small, but it can’t match the rear-seat space of rivals like the Honda HR-V or the Kia Soul. Although there is enough space for two people to sit comfortably back there, the legroom is not very generous. Although the Outlander Sport’s split-folding 60/40 back seats can be folded flat to form a cargo floor, it can’t carry as many as its competitors. Although the Outlander Sport has a deep center console, it doesn’t have many storage options. The spare tire occupies the entire underfloor storage area in the cargo area. There are also no rear-seat passenger door pockets.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The base model comes standard with a 7.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system. All other trims have an 8.0 inch touchscreen with SiriusXM satellite broadcast, as well as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Although the latter has uninspired graphics and limited customizable settings, it does have physical volume controls and tuning knobs which we appreciate. The Outlander Sport’s connectivity features, however, are outdated compared to the competition.